A RUNCORN therapist is encouraging people to ask for help with addiction as the latest drug and alcohol toll is ‘higher than ever’.

Oasis Recovery, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Runcorn, has revealed its treatment admissions for last year were the highest it has had since 2015.

Data shared shows that last year, the rehab site, ran by the UK Addiction Treatment Group, admitted 451 clients into its residential facility.

In the last six years, admissions have nearly quadrupled when just 115 addicts checked in to the rehab in 2015.

Last year, addicts from across the region admitted into the Bridge Street rehab for a range of addiction types, including alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs and behavioural disorders like gaming, gambling and sex addiction - resulting in the highest number of annual admissions on record.

This figure is up seven per cent from 424 in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, when therapists at the Runcorn site warned that the government’s ‘stay home’ message would exacerbate the addiction crisis.

This also comes after Public Health England has revealed the highest ever alcohol and drug death tolls across the region.

Nuno Albuquerque, consultant treatment lead for Oasis Recovery Runcorn, said: “We said all throughout 2020 that although the pandemic was frightening and uncertain, one thing remained unchanged; that addiction would not stop, and that if those who were struggling then didn’t get access to the help they needed, their situation would ultimately worsen.

Nuno Albuquerque, consultant treatment lead for Oasis Recovery Runcorn

Nuno Albuquerque, consultant treatment lead for Oasis Recovery Runcorn

“We’re seeing off the chart calls for help from people whose lives have been turned upside down by addiction, which is why we’re admitting more people than ever before."

UK Addiction Treatment Group’s analysis of Public Health data showed that since 2016, alcohol-related rates across the North West have risen by eight per cent.

Their analysis of recent drug related death data for the region shows a 32 per cent rise, from 587 drug poisoning deaths in 2016 to 771 recorded in 2020.

Nuno added: "It saddens us to know that mothers, fathers, grandparents, neighbours and friends lose their lives to addiction when there is help available that could save them.

“More people than ever lost their lives to drugs and alcohol in 2020, but thankfully, we’re seeing more people than ever now asking for help.

“If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, we are here. Get in touch.”

A free 24/7 confidential live chat service for help and support with addiction is available on the Oasis Recovery website here.